I’ve been a little obsessed with my hair lately. (By lately I mean for my entire life…)
I used to really hate my hair. I was one of the many girls who felt the need to heat-style her hair every day in high school. I wanted to highlight the hell out of it. I definitely wished it was straight. I abused the shit out of my hair as a result. Before high school I decided I wanted really curly hair, and my mom actually let me get a perm in middle school. I hope she was trying to teach me some sort of lesson because it certainly worked. (The lesson was: never get a perm again.) In elementary school I wanted to be blonde. I’m not really sure why.
By the time I got to college my hair was damaged as all get out. I stuck with my hair straightener during those days until I just got too lazy to give a shit. I did get it cut quite often out of boredom and the desire to be “quirky”. I also bleached a chunk of my hair and would die that chunk different colors from time to time. I was never satisfied with my hair.
These days I feel a little differently. Heat rarely touches my precious strands. I treasure my hair and protect it like a prized possession of immense value. When I can afford it, I buy only the best and purest hair products. I oil my hair regularly. I am obsessed with keeping my hair as long as healthy as possible, and I love it in its natural state.
It started in 2010, I think. I couldn’t die my hair fun colors anymore, so to stave off boredom I would cut it all the time. Of course, this resulted in my hair getting really short. My hair is pretty fine and lightweight (but there’s quite a bit of it) so when it’s short it just…floats around in a halo of frizz. So I made a pledge to myself. One solid year without a haircut. No trims, no nothing. Once my hair got long I got really attached to it, and I realized that my hair’s unruly texture actually worked when it was longer. Now I’m afraid to get it cut. I’ve become that girl.
I don’t know when the massive self-love came along. I just woke up one day and looked at my hair and realized I had the hair I’ve wanted all along. I just had to take care of it. The lack of heat-styling due to laziness helped my hair stay healthy and beautiful. I started researching how to grow hair longer/faster/healthier and making lifestyle adjustments. I’m not the healthiest person in the world, but the healthy habits that I do have are motivated purely by keeping my hair healthy. I don’t know if that’s sad or if I should just take whatever motivation I can get. Those hair-motivated healthy choices result in the rest of my body looking and feeling good…and then I just…feel…good? About…myself? It’s a strange and new feeling for me so I’m still adjusting.
I still sometimes want to chop all my hair off, and I really would like some highlights because then my braids would look nicer, and my dream hair is still rainbow colored, but it’s really nice and refreshing to really not give a shit if my hair is a little wonky one day because I love it regardless. I love it when it’s being frizzy and stupid. I love it when it’s being shiny and smooth. I love it piled into a rat’s nest on the top of my head.
I think it says a lot that just focusing on one body part or feature and taking care of it can lead to overall self-love. Since falling back in love with my hair I’ve also fallen back in love with my eyebrows (I used to think they were too thick, too dark, etc.). I’ve also gained enough confidence to leave the house in a tank top without freshly shaved underarms because who gives a fuck? My hair looks awesome, no matter where it’s growing from! I’ve even slowly started to get over my crooked nose! It’s insane.
So to those of you who are struggling with body positivity and would like a tip: Just focus on one feature and take care of it. That doesn’t mean changing it, necessarily. I haven’t used so much as a blow dryer on my hair in months, and it hasn’t been chemical treated in at least 6 years now. But just by taking care of it, my hair was able to thrive. So what are you insecure about? Look into how to naturally keep that area healthy. If you are insecure about your teeth, for example, try oil pulling or other holistic treatments to aid in oral health and I’m sure you’ll feel better. Don’t abuse your body, pamper it. Your body will thank you and you will feel better, both mentally and physically. I promise.